Burglary of a Conveyance

Clearwater Attorney Experienced in Fighting Theft Charges

Florida law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges take burglary of a conveyance seriously. A conveyance is a means of transportation and includes all types of motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, boats, trailers, vessels, airplanes, and helicopters. It is crucial to consult an experienced Clearwater burglary defense lawyer if you are being investigated for burglary of a conveyance. At Hanlon Law, we have experience defending our clients from a wide range of felony charges involving burglary, including burglary with a firearm. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused and work hard to find strong defense strategies for our clients.

Burglary of a Conveyance

In most cases, burglary of a conveyance is punished less harshly than burglary of a dwelling. However, it is a felony charge, and you can face time in prison, making it crucial to consult a Clearwater criminal attorney. A prosecutor trying to secure a conviction for burglary of a conveyance must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) you went into a conveyance (2) owned or possessed by someone else, and (3) you intended to commit a crime inside. For example, if you broke into a stranger's car, planning to steal a stereo inside it, this would be burglary of a conveyance. Similarly, if you entered someone else's yacht, planning to steal the $100,000 boat and the personal property inside it, this would also be burglary of a conveyance.

You can also be charged if you originally had an invitation or license to go inside a conveyance, but: (1) you stayed surreptitiously to commit an offense, (2) you stayed after the owner withdrew permission in order to commit a crime, or (3) you stayed and committed or tried to commit a forcible felony. For example, if you were originally given a ride by your roommate, but you stayed in the backseat after she went inside your apartment in order to steal the drugs that you know she kept in the glove compartment, this could also be burglary of a conveyance. Similarly, if you were invited onto someone's boat for a quick tour, but you stayed behind after the owner and most of the group finished the tour and left the boat, planning to rape another group member, it is possible that you would be charged with burglary of a conveyance.

All of the elements of the charge of burglary of a conveyance must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be convicted. However, it is important to know that the jury can infer intent if you tried to enter or entered stealthily.

There are different degrees of felonies that may be charged in connection with burglary of a conveyance. First-degree felony burglary can be charged if you broke into the conveyance, intending to commit a crime, and also (1) battered or assaulted another person in connection with the burglary, or (2) were armed with a dangerous weapon or explosives or became armed during the course of the burglary. For example, if you bring a gun while breaking into a private airplane, you could be charged with a first-degree felony.

The next most serious degree of felony is second-degree felony burglary of a conveyance. Second-degree felony burglary of a conveyance may be charged if there was someone else inside the conveyance when you came into it or stayed in it. A second-degree felony can also be charged if the offense that you intended to commit when entering or staying was theft of a controlled substance. Separate judgments and sentences for burglary with intent to steal a controlled substance and any other controlled substance charge can be imposed when all of the offenses involve the same amount of the controlled substance. If, for example, you broke into a car to steal your roommate's cocaine supply, a threshold amount, you would likely be charged with second-degree felony burglary, and you might also be charged with cocaine trafficking. In order to be charged with second-degree felony burglary, you must not have assaulted somebody nor battered anyone, nor been armed.

Third-degree felony burglary of a conveyance may be charged if you did not commit assault or battery or bear arms during the burglary, and there was nobody else inside the conveyance. For example, if you broke into a parked car to steal an expensive baby seat and some other personal property, you could be charged with a third-degree felony.

Discuss Your Case with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Clearwater

Burglary of a conveyance can result in prison time, in addition to other severe consequences. Even after you have done your time, a conviction for burglary of a conveyance can haunt you. Our firm's founder, Attorney Will Hanlon, has protected the rights of people accused of crimes like burglary since 1994. Call us at 727-897-5413 or contact us via our online form.